Apt Auto Selection

Automatically select user-required options during package install.

This is used for configuration management and preseeding for automatic installs that require user input. See Ubuntu Automatic (Preseed) Installation.


Install with Options

Determine the debconf options used by installing the package with the options set.

apt install debconf-utils
apt install {PACKAGE}
debconf-get-selections | grep {PACKAGE}

Set Options

On target machines, set options before installing the package. This will remove the prompts from apt.

echo "{PACKAGE}-{VERSION} package/option {NAME} {VALUE}" | debconf-set-selections
apt install {PACKAGE}


debconf will list with tabs for easy reading. When setting selections separate with a space, otherwise the extra whitespace will be included with the option.


Complete example with MySql

$ apt install mysql-server debconf-utils
$ debconf-get-selections | grep mysql-server

mysql-server-5.5        mysql-server/root_password_again        password
mysql-server-5.5        mysql-server/root_password      password
mysql-server-5.5        mysql-server/error_setting_password     error
mysql-server-5.5        mysql-server-5.5/postrm_remove_databases        boolean false
mysql-server-5.5        mysql-server-5.5/start_on_boot  boolean true
mysql-server-5.5        mysql-server-5.5/nis_warning    note
mysql-server-5.5        mysql-server-5.5/really_downgrade       boolean false
mysql-server-5.5        mysql-server/password_mismatch  error
mysql-server-5.5        mysql-server/no_upgrade_when_using_ndb  error

$ echo "mysql-server-5.5        mysql-server-5.5/start_on_boot  boolean true"  | debconf-set-selections
$ apt install mysql-server-5.5